White House Cracks Down On Birth Control Mandate

In response to reports that insurers were violating the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) free birth control coverage rule, the White House has warned insurance companies that they must provide all forms of approved contraceptives to users at no cost or co-pay charge. The National Women’s Law Center and the Kaiser Family Foundation recently drew attention to the issue by publishing separate investigations that revealed not all insurance companies are following the law. Now the Obama administration is reiterating that insurance plans have to cover all forms of birth control approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

The Earth Mandate

During my meandering college days, I once crossed path with a siddha yogi. He offered me a kind of initiation of sorts, a mandate for existence. And now I offer it to you. 

We are here because the Earth wants us here. Life requires a very specific kind of environment in order to survive and evolve. Life is a phenomenon that emerges when the right balance of ingredients come together. The right distance from the sun, the right amount of oxygen in the air, the right ratio of salt in the ocean, etc. 

We exist because everything is right in this world. 

It is only when we start looking for a reason to exist from a culture or society or other people that we open ourselves to suffering and insecurity. Look around. We are all hairless apes in suits and dresses playing out an amnesiac drama. Take a moment to laugh, because it’s pretty funny when you think about and acknowledge that. 

The human game is amusing. It isn’t bad or good; nature leaves nothing to be improved upon. The game is for fun. If we can innovate and provide aid to those in need, wonderful. But there is no winning or losing; it’s all just organic chemistry playing around. 

Shift your mandate, your raison d'être, from something describable in words to an awareness of your interdependence with nature. You are nature. 

When Buddha was grilled about his new state of Being, and about his reason for still being here, he simply touched the ground in response. The cosmos thrummed in reply.

Touch the earth and let go of everything else. 

Namaste, sangha. 

Mi mandate un segno? Anche in anonimo, dai. Che cosa tenera!

♂: Sono un ragazzo che ha una cotta per te
♀: Sono una ragazza che ha una cotta per te
∞: Sono una persona che ha una cotta per te
✂: Non cancellare mai il tuo blog
✌: Sei fantastico/a
♡: Amo il tuo blog
❁: Sei bellissimo/a
✓: Ti odio
☹: Sei brutto/a
☀: Voglio scoparti
♬: Vorrei che fossimo vicini
♧: Vorrei che fossimo amici nella vita reale
☆: Sto passando quello che stai passando tu
☮: Mi ispiri
☾: Dovremmo baciarci, sarebbe fantastico
✖: Ti darei un grande abbraccio

President Obama stands to lose as many as 340,000 votes as a result of Hurricane Sandy, not enough to affect the outcome in heavily Democratic Northeastern states, but something that could make a difference in the popular vote if the results of Tuesday’s presidential race are as close as polls indicate, a First Read analysis finds.

“Sandy has the potential to reduce Obama’s national popular vote share by depressing turnout in highly Democratic areas along the Eastern Seaboard,” Dr. Michael McDonald of George Mason University, who studies turnout, told First Read. “The storm is unlikely to change the Electoral College outcome, as Obama is heavily favored to win the affected states. A turnout drop could be the difference in a close national election, and thus could shape the political discourse over important policy issues in a possible Obama second term.

It is more than just winning.  It will be the conversation about whether he was given a ‘mandate’ to enact the policies he campaigned on.  With a Republican obstructionist majority in the house, that will make a difference.

So no matter what state you are in, swing state or not, your vote matters.


In honour of Grace’s birthday (yesterday) and the new reissues of her disco albums, I’d posted/transcribed an early profile of her from the September 1977 issue of Mandate on the main blog. An interesting glimpse at the kind coverage she was getting from the gay press at the very start of her career. 

Disc Profile: Grace Jones - The Lady Is a Vamp! - By Regina Rose // Mandate - September 1977 

Obama’s great achievement is not any one element of the health care reform law – not even the now-upheld individual mandate compelling individuals to have health insurance or pay a fine. The important thing is the law’s underlying assumption that every American, rich or poor, should have access to adequate health care.
In the rest of the industrialized world, this simple idea is taken for granted.

Eugene Robinson, in his column, The Bigger Picture: The Physical and Moral Health of the Nation

Yes. This is the bottom-line point, and it should be the starting point for any future discussions on this issue.

The Mandate In Context

The key result of the Urban Institute’s simulation model [pdf] is that, when broken down, only 3 percent of non-elderly Americans would be subject to purchasing health insurance. That’s still about 7.3 million Americans, according to the study. But it signals far less government control than opponents of the healthcare plan suggest could occur. The remaining 97 percent would fall under one of four fully or partially exempt categories. The exempt would either already have employer coverage, have coverage through a government program like Medicaid, or have too low of an income to afford health insurance. Or they could qualify for partial subsidies in which they would pay in to their health plan.

That individual mandate that the Supreme Court is bickering about is only going to affect THREE PERCENT of the population.

Avert disaster, fix a broken system for 97% of the population, increase health coverage for millions of Americans OR spread disinformation and pledge to “kill” the Affordable Care Act without offering an alternative or better idea? We are better than this.